Coral Bleaching: Patterns, Processes, Causes and Consequences

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Also, our findings that the abundance of corals under high CO 2 is sensitive to variation in coral growth and mortality parameters as well as to variation in algal growth and competition parameters indicate that coral resilience patterns are driven by both CO 2 impacting mainly corals in our model via acidification and bleaching and nutrification via algal growth. The increased sensitivity of the model projections for corals to variation in algal growth under low grazing herbivore overfishing indicates that nutrification effects on coral resilience becomes particularly important in the proximity of threshold points for grazers control of algal biomass Mumby et al.

Further, the relatively low sensitivity of the model to parameter variation at high CO 2 and low grazing suggests that algal-dominated and coral-depauperate systems are persistent. While the difficulty in reversing shifts from coral- to algal-dominance has been long known Hughes, ; Mumby et al. In conclusion, our quantitative analyses of resilience patterns for a simplified model system bring into focus two core principles regarding the future of coral reefs under increasing CO 2.

Firstly, a failure to rapidly stabilize and reduce the concentration of CO 2 in the Earth's atmosphere is likely to lead to significant loss of key framework builders such as Acropora , irrespective of the effectiveness of local management. Secondly, local reef management efforts to maintain high herbivore grazing and low nutrients have the potential to play a critical role in maintaining coral resilience while CO 2 concentrations are stabilized. Two reviewers and the editor provided comments that improved the manuscript. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

Global Change Biology. Glob Chang Biol. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Kenneth R. Anthony, tel.

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Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2. Abstract Ocean warming and acidification from increasing levels of atmospheric CO 2 represent major global threats to coral reefs, and are in many regions exacerbated by local-scale disturbances such as overfishing and nutrient enrichment. Keywords: climate change, coral reefs, herbivory, ocean acidification, resilience.

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Introduction A fundamental question in ecology is to what extent local vs. Methods Model development We extend an existing model Mumby et al. Open in a separate window. Table 1 Summary of symbols, functions and parameter estimates used in the model. Maynard unpublished data. Table 2 Simulation scenarios and sets of parameter ranges used in sensitivity analyses to test robustness of community projections under varying parameter values for the four core vital rates of the model.

Bleaching, energetics and coral mortality risk: effects of temperature, light, and sediment regime. Ocean acidification causes bleaching and productivity loss in coral reef builders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Regional-scale assembly rules and biodiversity of coral reefs.

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Coral Bleaching

Limnology and Oceanography. Historical overfishing and the recent collapse of coastal ecosystems. Simple models for exploitative and interference competition. Ecological Modelling. Ocean acidification and calcifying reef organisms: a mesocosm investigation. Coral Reefs.

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In: Dubinsky Z, editor. Amsterdam: Elsevier; Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. Nutrient thresholds for bottom-up control of macroalgal blooms on coral reefs in Jamaica and southeast Florida. Several centuries of variation in skeletal extension, density and calcification in massive Porites colonies from the Great Barrier Reef: a proxy for seawater temperature and a background of variability against which to identify unnatural change.

Coral bleaching: the winners and the losers. Climate-mediated mechanical changes to post-disturbance coral assemblages. To learn more about how to request items watch this short online video. You can view this on the NLA website. Login Register.

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Your reader barcode: Your last name:. Cite this Email this Add to favourites Print this page. You must be logged in to Tag Records. Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. Mass coral bleaching, caused by elevated ocean temperatures, has now emerged as a major, if not the single most important, contributor to elevated rates of coral mortality Hughes et al. Coral reefs have been subject to increasing anthropogenic disturbances and threats throughout the last few decades if not centuries , resulting in sustained declines in the cover or abundance of scleractinian corals and corresponding shifts in the structure of reef habitats Hughes et al.

Climate change specifically resulting in coral bleaching is almost always considered, along with a variety of other more localised anthropogenic disturbances and threats, as a key contributor to sustained and ongoing coral loss e.